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The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC) is organizing around an urgent issue in Appalachia: the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub (ASH), a regional petrochemical processing, storage and trading industrial mega-complex that would produce the source material for single-use plastics.
A recent report by Trump’s Department of Energy suggests the Ohio Valley’s growing petrochemical industry could be an unprecedented source of economic opportunity and growth. However, it is apparent the assessment did not consider the growing financial risk associated with a regional petrochemical industry buildout (let alone the human health, climate and pollution concerns).
According to a more complete report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the risk is increasing for investors in plastics and petrochemical manufacturers. The IEEFA report suggests that petrochemical development in Appalachia is ultimately economically unsustainable, a trend that is becoming obvious as an increasing number of national, regional and local governments all over the world, including China, are enacting measures designed to reduce the use of plastics.
Petrochemical expansion will not provide an economic renaissance for our region. If our political leaders really want to bring long-term prosperity to our region, they should not attempt to invest in flailing industries that poison our land, air, water, and communities. As Sarah Carballo, OVEC’s communications specialist says in a recent article published by WV Public Broadcasting, “Communities across Appalachia deserve viable, fair and sustainable economic transition strategies that protect public health and environmental quality.”
“Now is the time to apply pressure to the industry and its stakeholders,” Alex Cole, an organizer at OVEC, says. “Now is the time to hold our politicians accountable for kowtowing to this industry.”
Take Action: Send a Letter to Your Legislators
In response to these concerns, OVEC drafted a letter to send to legislators in West Virginia and across the region. Help build pressure on our elected officials and urge them to focus on alternative solutions and pathways toward a sustainable future. Send the letter to your representatives here.